According to a creative executive at one of advertising’s biggest agencies, the industry is moving toward a world where brands are becoming more like people.
JWT North America chief creative officer Jeff Benjamin was recently named chair of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s MIXX Awards for digital marketing.
He says one of the biggest trends he’s noticed at the awards show over the past few years is the idea of “brand citizenship.”
More and more, Benjamin said, brands are finding success in digital marketing by creating positive change in the world.
“It’s this notion that brands are here on this planet just like people are,” Benjamin explained in an interview with Business Insider. “Just like people, you can’t just do great work, you have to do great work that is responsible.”
As an example, Benjamin pointed to Coca-Cola’s Small World Machines, an interactive installation that allowed people in the tense neighbouring nations of India and Pakistan to interact with one another via live video chat.
The Small World Machines, and Coca-Cola’s subsequent video documenting its efforts, won Best in Show at last year’s IAB MIXX Awards.
“Here’s a brand that’s doing something out in the world that is certainly great digital marketing work, but it’s doing something more than that,” Benjamin said. “It’s doing something good and great by showing us that what we have in common at times is more powerful than what divides us.”
Earlier this month, local authorities in India ordered Coca-Cola to shut down one of its bottling facilities after the company failed to heed warnings that it was using too much of India’s groundwater and polluting the soil.
The 10th annual IAB MIXX Awards, honouring groundbreaking examples of interactive advertising, will be held September 30 in New York City. Entries are being accepted until July 18.
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